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Flash memory shifting from NOR to NAND

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Within two years NAND based Flash memory technology is expected to match NOR levels, as next generation mobile handsets demand large, fast storage capabilities.

Traditionally the two principle types of single cell flash memory, NOR and NAND, have coexisted, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

However multilevel cell (MLC) technology is now boosting the performance of each memory type, and NAND’s supporters are making a case for its superiority.

NOR technology, typically used for code execution and storage, offers fast read speeds but a slow write speed. NAND however can deliver faster write speeds and greater capacity making it ideal for large portable applications such as wireless handsets, PDAs and USB drives.

“NAND hands down is the most competitive, cost effective flash solution out there, and MLC makes it a more compelling solution versus other technologies,” said Scott Nelson, director of memory business development, Toshiba Corporation.

Samsung Electronics has also placed much more weight on NAND type flash memory, recently increasing production of 1Gbit NAND chips to take advantage of global supply shortages and a slump in the DRAM chip market.

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